As you age, you may experience scaly, rough patches on your face, hands and arms. Actinic Keratosis, also known as Solar Keratosis, is a rough patch on the skin that develops because of repeated, prolonged sun exposure. This disorder generally develops on the areas that have been exposed to years of damage by the sun. This is one of the most common skin condition observed among people in the age group of 40 to 60 years.
Actinic Keratosis Causes
Actinic Keratosis or AK is generally caused by overexposure to sunlight. Patients are at a higher risk if they:
- Are over the age of 50 years
- Have a history of sunburns
- Have fair-colored skin
- Have human papillomavirus
- Have a tendency of getting sunburn
Symptoms of Actinic Keratosis
This skin condition starts out as scaly, thick, crusty skin patches which are usually about the size of small pencil eraser. The areas where these patches may appear have a burning sensation. These signs may disappear or develop into Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) and there is no way of knowing which lesion may turn cancerous. You should see a doctor if you observe:
- Inflammation occurs
- Redness or bleeding
- Rapid enlargement in the size of the lesion
- Hardening of the lesion
How to Diagnose Actinic Keratosis?
Dr Kling can help you diagnosis AK by looking at it. However, if the lesion looks suspicious, the doctor may want you to take a skin biopsy. This is one of the best ways to check if the lesion has turned cancerous or not.
Why treat Actinic Keratosis?
Actinic Keratosis is not a cancerous skin condition, but it can sometimes turn into one. Actinic Keratosis is treated by Dr. Alan Kling for patients in Manhattan, Brooklyn and throughout the New York City area.
How to Treat Actinic Keratosis?
Actinic Keratosis can be treated in a variety of ways. Some of the best treatment options include:
In this type of treatment, the lesion is sprayed with a cryosurgery solution and the freeze cells are killed. The lesion scab over within a few days after completion of the procedure and falls off.
This treatment procedure involves cutting the hardened skin. The doctor may also choose to remove all the extra tissue present around the lesion to prevent skin cancer. Depending on the area treated, you may or may not require the stitches.
During this treatment procedure, a solution is applied to the affected skin and the area is exposed to intense laser light. Common solutions used in this procedure include methyl aminolevulinate cream and aminolevulinic acid.
Certain topical treatments can also help kill the affected skin cells. Treatments such as chemical peel might help get rid of lesions but it also causes a lot of side effect. So make sure you talk to your doctor before undergoing the procedure.